John's Roasted Turkey
PREP TIME: 4 Hours
SERVES: 10-12

When buying a turkey you should plan on roughly one pound per person uncooked. Remember to buy the turkey early enough to allow it to defrost in the refrigerator for approximately 2 days prior to roasting. If this is your first roasted turkey, relax. You could not have a better recipe to work from! Always plan on placing the turkey in the oven, calculating the time necessary for the turkey to rest 30-45 minutes prior to carving.


  • 1 (15-pound) turkey
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • granulated garlic to taste
  • 1/4 pound butter softened
  • 2 tbsps garlic, minced
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 4 cups onions, diced
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 3 oranges, quartered
  • 8 whole cloves garlic
  • paprika for color

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the packet of giblets, which are normally packed in the neck cavity at the front of the turkey and covered with the neck skin. If a wire retainer is holding the legs in place, take care and remove it prior to seasoning the bird. Rinse turkey well, inside and out, with cold water. Place the bird in a baking pan and season generously, inside and out, using salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Extra seasoning should be placed on the inside cavity since the bone structure will prevent the majority of this seasoning from reaching the meat. Blend butter and garlic and rub under the breast skin of the turkey until all is used up. Place 3 basil leaves, in a decorative fashion, under the skin on each side of the breast. The leaves will show up nicely when the turkey is cooked. Place approximately 1/2 of the onions, celery, carrots, oranges and garlic on the inside of the bird, and place the remaining 1/2 around the bird in the pan. Squeeze juice of 2 orange quarters over the turkey breast. Sprinkle paprika lightly across the breast and leg portions and rub evenly for color. This will assist in even browning. Tie the legs in place using butcher’s twine, then cover the roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for approximately 3 1/2 hours, then remove foil and check for doneness. The bird is done when the legs pull away easily from the body and the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F. The aluminum foil covering will allow the bird to cook evenly and retain moisture without over-browning. Once done, remove cover and allow turkey to brown evenly, approximately 1/2 hour. When done, allow bird to rest 1 hour prior to slicing. The bird may be served with its natural drippings, or the juices may be strained and thickened with a light roux. Normally, a turkey will require a cooking time of 12-15 minutes per pound. However, ovens differ and you should check 30 minutes prior to your calculations.


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